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Sloane Stephens upsets No. 10 Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon

Jun 7, 2021; Paris, France; Sloane Stephens (USA) in action during her match against Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) on day nine of the French Open at Stade Roland Garros. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

American Sloane Stephens pulled off the biggest upset on a rainy Day 1 of Wimbledon, ousting two-time champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in straight sets at the All England Club in London.

Stephens defeated World No. 10 — and 10th-seeded — Kvitova 6-3, 6-4 in just one hour, 17 minutes. Stephens is ranked No. 73 in the world.

The turning point came in the second set with Kvitova leading 3-2 with a chance to break Stephens’ serve to go up 4-2. However, Stephens staved off four break points to knot the set at 3-3.

“Seeing the first round I thought, ‘Oh boy this will be a difficult task,'” Stephens said. “It’s been a couple of years since I’ve had a good result on grass. Here is a good start beating a really good grass-court player.”

Kvitova, the 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon champ, committed 20 unforced errors.

Stephens will face fellow American Kristie Ahn, a 2-6, 7-6 (3), 8-6 winner over Brit Heather Watson in a match the lasted three hours, three minutes.

Other top-seeded players fared much better in the first round.

Second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus defeated Romania’s Monica Niculescu 6-1, 6-4 in one hour, 16 minutes. American and No. 4 seed Sofia Kenin defeated China’s Xinyu Wang in 63 minutes.

Seventh-seeded Iga Swiatek of Poland dispatched Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei 6-4, 6-4. Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, the 11th seed, cruised past France’s Fiona Ferro in less than an hour. Madison Keys (No. 23) topped Katie Swan of Great Britain 6-3, 6-4 in one hour, 13 minutes.

Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova (No. 32) defeated Laura Siegemund of Germany in 58 minutes, 6-1, 6-3.

No. 18 Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan defeated Kristina Mladnenovic 6-4, 6-0 in one hour, six minutes.

Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland outlasted No. 29 seed Veronika Kudermetova of Russia 3-6, 6-1, 11-9 in two hours, 45 minutes.

Other winners: Americans Danielle Collins and Lauren Davis, Colombia’s Maria Camila Osorio Serrano, Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu, the Netherlands’ Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove, and Great Britain’s Katie Boulter.

The Petra Martic-Varvara Gracheva match was suspended in the second set with the 26th-seeded Martic down a set but leading 4-3 in the second. Also, Vera Zvonareva was leading Marie Bouzkova 7-5, 2-2 when their match was suspended.

Also suspended was the Claire Liu-Misaka Doi match in the third set and the Madison Brengle-Christina McHale match, also in the third set.

–Field Level Media